French train travel

Oct 29th, 2015, 07:00 PM
  #1  
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French train travel

We are planning a trip to France and in looking at train schedules it seems like everything is routed through Paris. Is this correct.? We want a train from Belgium to Rouen. Later, a train Caen-Lyon. Then Lyon to, Milan, Italy..
Any input is appreciated.
Janetchism is offline  
Oct 29th, 2015, 07:32 PM
  #2  
 
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No, everything is NOT routed through Paris.
The default for most train routing web site, for example www.bahn.com is shortest time.

For example, for Belgium (Brussels?) to Rouen, the shortest TIME is through Paris.

The shortest DISTANCE is through Lille and Amiens.
greg is offline  
Oct 29th, 2015, 08:43 PM
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There are trains which by-pass Paris.

But in this case you'd go Belgium-Paris-Rouen. I'd book Belgium to Paris at www.b-europe.com, allow at least 1h in Paris, then book Paris to Rouen at www.captaintrain.com (neither of these sites will book both trains in one go)

If you don't mind paying in pounds, you can book in one go at www.loco2.com
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2015, 08:45 PM
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Caen-Lyon and Lyon-Milan book at www.captaintrain.com

You'll find one daily direct TGV from Lyon Part Dieu to Milan Porta Garibaldi, and two more from Lyon St Exupery which is the airport station at the end of the tram line from Lyon city centre.

Book early for the cheapest prices. Booking usually opens 92 days ahead - up to 120 days ahead for the (Paris)-Lyon-Milan TGVs.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Oct 30th, 2015, 02:47 AM
  #5  
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Thanks so much for the information. What about Caen to Lyon?
Janetchism is offline  
Oct 30th, 2015, 03:11 AM
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Caen to Lyon would go through Paris too

Paris is relatively central and is indeed the center of the web that french have built in regards to infrastructure.
pariswat is offline  
Oct 30th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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Yes the French have put most moneys into TGV trains with Paris as a hub - high-speed lines with trains going up to nearly 200 mph - lateral lines go about half as fast and are not frequent and may require multiple changes.

For lots of great info on French trains check Man in Seat 61 who posts above- his commercial site - www.seat61.com- great info on discounted tickets - for general info check www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

Lyon to Milan you do not want to go thru Paris but as Man in Seat 61 above says - take the direct trains.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 30th, 2015, 08:33 AM
  #8  
 
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Most trains will go through Paris up north if you are going a long distance, say to somewhere in Provence, Languedoc, even over to Switzerland, etc.
Christina is offline  
Oct 30th, 2015, 08:37 AM
  #9  
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Thanks everyone. This helped tremendously.
Janetchism is offline  
Oct 30th, 2015, 11:41 AM
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The easiest site I've seen to get train schedules is the German Railways' site - www.bahn.de/en - see which way is the quickest.
PalenQ is online now  
Oct 30th, 2015, 02:44 PM
  #11  
 
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One problem with French trains lately is that there have been some - several I think- strikes this year that pop up - unlikely to happen when you are there but keep tuned as they are announced in advance usually.
PalenQ is online now  

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